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SIGGRAPH 2017 — Detailed Show Reports on Computer Graphics Conference and Expo

At this year’s SIGGRAPH show returned to Los Angeles, the show gained momentum in the midst of the burgeoning VR/AR explosion happening across various 3D industries as well as foundational shifts happening at the developer level as game engines grow more important and low-level graphics APIs bloom further. Lurking in the background of this year’s SIGGRAPH is AMD’s resurgence as well as Apple’s promised return to pro markets at the workstation level.

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Side Effects Software (SideFX)

Houdini was back at SIGGRAPH but in a whole new format called “Houdini Hive.” Houdini Hive is where you could watch a presentation from key speakers in the industry, and meet other Houdini artists and grab a T-Shirt. The focus was to educate artists on Houdini workflows—as there is a huge job market for Houdini artists in film and television production.

Houdini is developed for the Mac at the same time as it is for other platforms so the release is the same for all artists. So you can use Houdini on any platform and get the same result. You almost wonder if SideFX adds Metal (Apple’s low-level graphics API) support if this will add to the performance on the Mac.

Chaos Group

Who doesn’t want to hear V-Ray news? The Academy Award winning software V-Ray was definitely popular at the show. V-Ray is the most esteemed high-end renderer in the architectural visualization market in the AEC industry today, but V-Ray is also used extensively in many other 3D industries, such as film, broadcast television, and industrial design visualization markets.

05 – Lon Grohs and David Tracy of The Chaos Group at SIGGRAPH 2017. (Photo by Akiko Ashley for Architosh. All rights reserved.)

Chaos Group announced V-Ray for Unreal Engine at SIGGRAPH, which is an announcement that further signifies how important the game engines are becoming with respect to professionals tools outside of the game industry. The company also introduced the new V-Ray Benchmark app, only for Windows at the moment but, hopefully, that will change. Anyway, Chaos Group made a series of announcements, including:

  • You can bring V-Ray content in from other DCC into the real-time engine editor.
  • Render real time directly into the game editor.
  • Export from the real-time editor for use in another DCC.
  • Introduced GPU+CPU Hybrid Rendering in V-Ray 3.6 for 3ds max on 26 July 2017. (see Architosh report here).

At SIGGRAPH 2017 Marc Petit, of Epic Games said, “we are committed to simplifying the integration of the Unreal Engine into content creation workflows across animation production, AR/VR and visualization.”


Allegorithmic makes very cool software packages that include; Substance Painter, Substance Designer Substance B2M, Substance Player, and Substance Automation Toolkit.

06 – Substance Painter demo at SIGGRAPH 2017. (Photo by Akiko Ashley for Architosh. All rights reserved.)

Substance Designer will support AxF X-Rite Appearance Exchange Format. X-Rite Incorporated, a leader in color science and technology and its subsidiary Pantone LLC announced that Allegorithmic’s Substance Designer will support the Appearance Exchange Format in September. It is a vendor-neutral format of a physical material appearance in a single editable file to improve design visualization.

Will Allegorithmic software support Web3D API and or Vulkan and Metal API’s for 3D graphics as well as Open GL? That was the question asked a company rep at the booth. “Yes, if are there notable speed differences.”

“It’s not planned in the foreseeable future, as it wouldn’t improve that much speed on the Substance Engine side of things. However, it would definitely have an overall impact on the performance of the software on Mac, so we hope to support it at some point.”

Allegorithmic software will run on the new iMac Pro as they say the specs are pretty impressive.

next page: Pixar Renderman at SIGGRAPH, Session Notes, and Closing Comments

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Reader Comments

  1. Fascinating stuff! Particularly the Chaos Group! Interesting reading!

  2. Posted by:
    Chris in NC
    September 1, 2017 11:16 pm EDT

    Awesome write-up Akiko! 🙂 So envious you get to go to these!

  3. Thanks for the positive comments Chris in NC…we appreciate hearing this kind of feedback!

Comments are closed.

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